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    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.


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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required


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    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    609 S KNIK GOOSE BAY RD STE G
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Pilot Station Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10


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    PILOT STATION ALASKA BUILDING EXPERT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Pilot Station, Alaska Building Expert Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Pilot Station's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Pilot Station, Alaska

    How AB5 has Changed the Employment Landscape

    March 16, 2020 —
    As a result of California's Assembly Bill 5, effective January 1, 2020, the California Supreme Court's ABC test is now the standard for evaluating independent contractor classifications for purposes of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, California Labor Code, and the California Unemployment Insurance Code. That dramatically ups the ante for companies that rely on independent contractors, particularly those that have not re-evaluated such classifications under the ABC test. Misclassification cases can be devastating, especially for misclassified non-exempt employees, and can result in minimum wage violations, missed meal and rest periods, unpaid overtime, unreimbursed business expenses, record-keeping violations, steep penalties, attorneys' fees, and even criminal liability, among other consequences. Misclassifying workers creates enormous risks for companies and is fertile ground for class actions and representative actions under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The Costs Of Misclassification Are Expensive, And Hope Is Not A Strategy Many business owners I speak to understand AB5 has caused the ground to shift beneath their feet and recognize the resulting risks of misclassifying workers. Despite these risks, companies often balk at taking the necessary steps to evaluate their classifications and mitigate the risk of an adverse classification finding. The most common reason I hear from resistant companies is the worker does not want to be reclassified as an employee and the company trusts the worker ("I've worked with her for years; she won't sue me because she wants to be a contractor"). I get it. Making the change from contractor to employee results in less flexibility and greater administrative burden for everyone involved. While I'm sympathetic, the government is not. Reluctance to change while acknowledging the associated risks amounts to a strategy based on hope. As we say in the Marine Corps, however, "hope is not a strategy." Aside from the sometimes foolhardy belief that a misclassified worker can be trusted to not file suit after a business breakup (when the deposits stop and mortgage bill comes due, guess who's a prime target), companies often fail to recognize the numerous ways in which their classification decisions can be challenged even when they are in agreement with their (misclassified) contractors. Here are just three examples of how your classifications can be scrutinized despite the lack of a challenge by the worker:
    • Auto Accidents: Whether delivering products, making sales calls, or traveling between job sites, independent contractors often perform work that requires driving. Of course, sometimes drivers are involved in automobile accidents. When accidents happen, insurance companies step in and look for sources of money to fund claims, attorneys' fees, costs, and settlements. One potential source is your insurance. "But the driver isn't my employee!," you say. You better buckle up because the other motorist's insurance carrier is about to challenge your classification in an attempt to access your insurance policies.
    • EDD Audits: During the course of the last several years, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has increased the number of verification (random) audits it performs in search of additional tax revenue. One reason government agencies prefer hiring entities classifying workers as employees rather than independent contractors is it's a more efficient tax collection method; employers collect employees' taxes on the government's behalf, which increases collection rates and reduces government collection costs. The consequences of misclassification include pricey fines, penalties, and interest.
    • Unemployment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, and Disability Claims: In addition to verification audits, the EDD performs request (targeted) audits. Targeted audits may result when a contractor files an unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, or disability claim because independent contractors are ineligible for such benefits. Request audits, like verification audits, can result in costly fines, penalties, and interest if the EDD concludes you have misclassified your workers. Even so, that may not be the worst of it: the EDD often shares its findings with the Internal Revenue Service.
    Your Action Plan AB5 has changed the measuring stick, misclassification costs are high, and you do not have complete control of when the government or others can challenge your classifications. So what can you do? Here are several steps all prudent companies should take if they are using independent contractors:
    • Conduct an audit of current classification practices;
    • Review written independent contractor agreements;
    • Implement written independent contractor agreements;
    • Update workplace policies;
    • Update organizational charts;
    • Reclassify independent contractors as employees if necessary.
    Jason Morris is a partner in the Newport Beach office of Newmeyer Dillion. Jason's practice concentrates on the areas of labor and employment and business litigation. He advises employers and business owners in employment litigation, as well as advice and counsel related to employment policies and investigations. You can reach him at jason.morris@ndlf.com. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that achieve client objectives in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as a cohesive team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, environmental/land use, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers holistic and integrated legal services tailored to propel each client's success and bottom line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
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    Hawaii Supreme Court Finds Excess Can Sue Primary for Equitable Subrogation

    October 21, 2015 —
    In responding to a certified question from the U.S. Distric Court, the Hawaii Supreme Court determined that an excess carrier can sue the primary carrier for failure to settle a claim in bad faith within primary limits. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 Haw. LEXIS 142 (Haw. June 29, 2015). St. Paul, the excess carrier, and Liberty Mutual, the primary carrier, issued polices to Pleasant Travel Service, Inc. The primary policy covered up to $1 million. Pleasant Travel was sued for damages resulting from an accidental death. St. Paul alleged that Liberty Mutual rejected multiple pretrial settlement offers within the $1 million primary policy limit. A trial resulted in a verdict of $4.1 million against Pleasant Travel. The action settled for a confidential amount in excess of the Liberty Mutual policy limit. St. Paul paid the amount in excess. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    California Mediation Confidentiality May Apply to Third Party “Participants” Retained to Provide Analysis

    November 02, 2017 —
    California Evidence Code section 1119 governs the general admissibility of oral and written communications generated during the mediation process. Section 1119(a) provides that “[n]o evidence of anything said or any admission made for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation . . . is admissible or subject to discovery, and disclosure of the evidence shall not be compelled, in any . . . civil action . . . .” Cal. Evid. Code § 1119(a) (emphasis added). Similarly, section 1119(b) bars discovery or admission in evidence of any “writing . . . prepared for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation . . . .” Cal. Evid. Code § 1119(b) (emphasis added). Finally, section 1119(c) provides that “[a]ll communications, negotiations, or settlement discussions by and between participants in the course of a mediation . . . shall remain confidential.” Cal. Evid. Code § 1119(c) (emphasis added). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tony Carucci, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Carucci may be contacted at acarucci@swlaw.com

    On Rehearing, Fifth Circuit Finds Contractual-Liability Exclusion Does Not Apply

    November 26, 2014 —
    On rehearing, the Fifth Circuit determined that the contractual-liability exclusion did not apply to bar coverage for damage caused by the insured contractor to the home it constructed. Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20727 (5th Cir. Oct. 29, 2014).The court withdrew its prior opinion, summarized here. Arrow Development, Inc. contracted with the Crownovers to construct a home. The contract had a warranty-to-repair clause, which, in paragraph 23.1, provided that Arrow would "promptly correct work . . . failing to confirm to the requirements of the Contract Documents." After the Crownovers moved in, cracks began to appear in the walls and foundation of the home. Additional problems with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ("HVAC") caused leaking in the exterior lines and air ducts inside the home. To compensate for defects in the HVAC system, the system's mechanical units ran almost continuously in order to heat or cool the home. Because they were overburdened, the mechanical units had to be replaced. The Crownovers paid several hundred thousand dollars to fix the problems with the foundation and HVAC system. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    General Contractor’s Professional Malpractice/Negligence Claim Against Design Professional

    November 30, 2017 —
    A recent case supports a professional malpractice (negligence) claim by a general contractor against a design professional by reversing a trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the design professional and finding a question of fact remained as to an architect’s role in the renovation of a public construction project. By the appellate court finding that a question of fact remained, the appellate court was finding that it was a triable issue, which is exactly what the general contractor wanted in this case. Getting this issue and the facts to the jury is the leverage the general contractor presumably wanted. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Florida Construction Legal Updates
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dadelstein@gmail.com

    Aurora Joins other Colorado Cities by Adding a Construction Defect Ordinance

    September 03, 2015 —
    According to the Aurora Sentinel, the city council of Aurora, Colorado, approved an ordinance targeted at making it more difficult for homeowners to sue builders over construction defect claims. Similar to other recent Colorado city construction defect measures, “the new rule gives builders the right to repair defects before the litigation is pursued, requires that the majority of home owners in a home owners association – as opposed to just a majority of HOA board members – approve of any lawsuits, and allows builders to offer monetary settlements to homeowners in lieu of repairs.” Read the court decision
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    DC Circuit Upholds EPA’s Latest RCRA Recycling Rule

    September 23, 2019 —
    On July 2, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided the case of California Communities Against Toxics, et al. v. EPA. In this decision, the court rejected the latest petition to strike or vacate EPA’s 2018 revisions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste recycling rules. In 1985, EPA promulgated a new regulatory definition of “solid waste,” which is the linchpin of the agency’s very stringent hazardous waste management rules. (See the rules located at 40 CFR Sections 260-268.) Unless a material is a “solid waste” as defined by the rules, it cannot also be a hazardous waste. The 1985 rules grappled with the challenges posed by recycling practices, and attempted to distinguish between legitimate recycling which is not subject to hazardous waste regulation, and other more suspect forms of recycling. The rules are complex and replete with nuance. In doing so, EPA was adhering to RCRA’s statutory mandate that it develop appropriate rules to govern the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, while also promoting “properly conducted recycling and reuse.” The DC Circuit reviewed the 1985 rules in the seminal case of American Mining Congress v EPA, 824 F.2d 1177 (1987), (AMC) and stressed that only those materials that were truly discarded could be regulated as solid waste; for instance, those materials that were destined for immediate recycling or recovery in an ongoing production process were not discarded and hence were not solid waste. Over the years, the court has struggled to clarify the basic holding of AMC in numerous cases while EPA has frequently revised and amended the RCRA rules, and in particular the definition of solid waste, in an attempt to balance the policies mandated by the statute. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at anthony.cavender@pillsburylaw.com

    Pulte’s Kitchen Innovation Throw Down

    December 10, 2015 —
    Pulte Group’s national purchasing director, Kellee Hansen, created a kitchen competition where six unaffiliated manufacturers competed against each other to build a kitchen vignette based on three consumer segments, reported Builder Online. On October 19th, each team had fifteen minutes to present their vignettes to about 100 people. “In our industry, I think we lack some collaboration, historically,” Hansen told Builder Online. “Listening to our suppliers just makes us better and it makes us better as an industry. I think it raises the level for all our peers as well when we listen to our manufacturers.” Read the court decision
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